Setting the Scene @ Rip The Runway

by Carly Zipp, BET

BET Rip The Runway, Models, Iris Olivia and Griffin onstage during the Rip The Runway show on Feb. 29 (Photo: John Ricard/BET)

BET once again proved that we know how to put on a show with our eighth annual Rip The Runway taping at Hammerstein Ballroom last night.

As soon as the red carpet opened, R&B crooner Robin Thicke sauntered through, flashing his “make the girls swoon” smile. The photographers went wild over Estelle, as rappers Wale and Meek Mill talked all things hip-hop. As Lil’ Kim approached the carpet with her famous entourage, the press “ooh-ed” and “ahh-ed” at her hair, outfit and the overall emergence of everyone’s favorite Queen Bee.

Robin Thicke performing at BET Rip the Runway Rehearsal, February 29, 2012. (photo: John Ricard / BET)

Victoria’s Secret Angel Selita Ebanks and everyone’s favorite quarterback from The Game, Pooch Hall, hosted the two-hour taping. The show embodied its “Fun, Freedom, Fashion!” theme by mixing collaborative collections from up-and-coming fashion designers with performances by today’s hottest artists. Rapper Wale kicked off the evening with his two latest hits “Lotus Flower Bomb” and “Slight Work” as models dressed in high-end fashions whizzed by him on the catwalk.

Next up, Grammy-nominated rapper B.O.B. sang “So Good” and flirted with the red carpet-ready models showing off the latest looks for the subway to the runway. Robin Thicke was perched on a piano bench singing “Pretty Lil Heart” as “size-sexy” plus-size models flaunted bold colors, and made a few audience girls profess their love as he kissed the stage goodbye. The fellas even got some fashion tips as Estelle belted out “Back To Love” from her new album, accompanied by male models in new trends. And dubstep DJ Araab Musik made his television debut as models paraded threads for the frugal fashionista.

Selita Ebanks debuted her new swimwear line SASS BY SELITA, breaking men’s hearts as she dressed her models in exotic and unique swimsuits. Rapper Meek Mill accompanied with his single “House Party.” Diggy Simmons and Jeremih followed with “Do It Like You” and tried to keep their cool as models sported the latest looks leading black designers in the fashion-forward movement, including LaQuan Smith and Tannielle White.

Lil Kim performs at BET Rip the Runway Rehearsal, February 29, 2012. (photo: John Ricard / BET).

And as the grand finale, Queen Bee Lil’ Kim stormed the stage, bringing down the house with her newest single “If You Love Me,” followed by her chart-topping hits “All About The Benjamins” and “Crush On You,” which got the crowd out of their seats.

The special premieres March 21 at 10 p.m. on BET. If you like models, fierce fashion, good music and a show that will have you dancing on your couch, tune in.

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